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Camco Boiler House
Formerly Canadian Westinghouse

Not often do you get a call on an early Sunday morning from a friend and fellow explorer, simply stating "I found something new... come check it out!" While the happen, they're rare compared to the more common planned trips I do, or the days where I know I will be exploring but not sure where. And yet, when this opportunity arose, I went with it and made the trek out to Hamilton with yet another explorer to see what had been found. The answer... the boiler house for the former Camco Inc. plant was wide open.

Location attributes for Camco Boiler House
Location   Hamilton, Ontario
Built :: Closed   1912 :: 2005
Status   Abandoned
Difficulty   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Security Risk   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
AUE Rating   ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Originally built in 1912 to serve the Canadian Westinghouse Company's new lamp manufacturing plant and foundry, the boiler house saw many changes to the property... from manufacturing weapons in WWII, to the expansion of the property into a large manufacturing center, employing over 1500 people. In 1977, Westinghouse spun off their appliance division in a joint venture with General Steelwares, and Camco (Canadian Appliance Manufacturing Company) was born.

Camco continued to operate on the property and saw profits at the plant rise until the late 1980's, when things began to fall apart. The company reacted slowly to sluggish sales from the Hamilton plant, which led to a surplus of inventory. While Camco managed to survive in Hamilton for another 15 years, ultimately it was shut down in December of 2004 as it could no longer compete with newer manufacturing centers.

The boiler house, powering the whole operation, continued to operate for several months following, based on logbooks found within the facility. The last date I could find was May of 2005 in several books, giving a very clear indication when the facility was laid to rest. One logbook is optimistic, mentioning that the worker would be on standby for a reactivation order... one that never came.

Surprisingly, the facility is very much intact, unlike most of the former plant, which has been torn down to make room for the McMaster Innovation Park. While the power and gas lines to the boiler house have been cut, the machinery inside is untouched. One would have assumed that scrappers would have had their way by now.

It has been rumoured that McMaster, who owns the boiler house, wants to turn it into some sort of museum and thus wants to keep the machinery intact. Whether this holds true remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain... it was a refreshing change to explore and abandoned industrial site that is still intact.

Untouched Decay - October 2011 (Non-Public Content)
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